The ABC keeps giving us more reasons to say “Privatize the national broadcaster”. Such is the quality of the insights on offer.
Clive Hamilton, ethics professor and former Greens candidate, uses most of the alarmist toolbox on the ABC Drum --the name-calling, hypocrisy, and argumentum ad auctoritatem. He still can’t tell the difference between science and religion, he thinks science works like a church, with decrees issued from the Mount. He talks of the mythical God known as “the science”. Clive has read the leak of the latest commandment from on high, and it says “95%”! There is gnashing of teeth:
Further confirmation of the science will certainly not persuade any climate science deniers. They are beyond persuasion, because the argument is only superficially about the science. It’s really about culture and ideology.
Strangely, he’s unwitting hit upon a truth. But it’s a projection of his headspace, run rife. Who denies the evidence showing climate models are broken. Whose argument is superficial? Who doesn’t even know what science is? Yes, really this is about culture and ideology. His. And it’s a dark ideology; read on.
What Clive wants more than anything is to monsterize anyone who questions his faith. His scorn for those who don’t wholeheartedly bow to the God of Alarm is complete, and his fantasy wish is to make that hatred a stronger part of our culture.
This is what it’s all about — the nub:
I have been in rooms where even sophisticated people who would cringe at being associated with climate deniers look for comfortable ways out. They pull back from what the science requires because the policy task looks too hard, oblivious to the fact that it now looks harder because others before them have reacted with the same timidity.
He hopes people will cringe rather than listen to deniers. (God forbid that citizens might have a polite discussion, or there be an actual debate like in a courtroom or a parliament.) Hamilton is delivering his sermon to the poor sods who read the ABC Drum. He’s reminding them that skeptics are the lepers of our community, and if any of the faithful should make the mistake of asking whether a foreign government committee might be less than 100% correct (in being 95% scared), they shall be shunned from the Citadel of Ultimo.
Sadly for him, the vicious bullying campaign is past the useby date, people are awake to it, and the more he does it, the sillier it looks. The ABC and to some extent, Hamilton, live off the largess of Australian taxpayers, and yet something like 70% of them don’t want the government spending any more of their money on “environmental issues.”
The Science has spoken:
The point is that politicians instinctively know all of this. They know that most Australians accept the science and are at times worried about climate change. They want their governments to ‘do something’ and make the problem go away.
He “knows” that the citizens are shallow people, feeling guilty and looking for a cheap way out. No wonder the Greens don’t like mainstream Australians. What else can we infer from this:
Yet our political leaders also know, from street talk, focus groups and hard political experience, that Australians want symbolic actions only, actions that will make them feel better about themselves but not require anything of them. When political leaders get it wrong, and take what voters tell pollsters at face value, they find themselves in hot water.
By this view, the world is going to hell in a handbasket, Australians know it, but are too selfish and stupid to act. So little respect is shown for the unwashed masses views there’s an element of class warfare. Those who drink from Clive’s bowl find reasons to resent most Australians, but gain no understanding. Is this what the ABC is for?
There’s no acknowledgment in Clive’s “Good or Evil” world that the unwashed masses may have a more complex view entirely - perhaps Australians are aware of which answer they are supposed to give on surveys, but they also know the Green policies to change the weather are pointless, so they tick the boxes that say: “Yes I believe” but no, “Don’t waste the money”. Hamilton spends the next seven paragraphs trying to explain the current dismal state and paroxysms of Australian politics. As far as he can see, there is only one explanation. “The Science” (kneel you fool) is correct and all the politicians are being dumped because they can’t get the impossible “nuances right”. (He doesn’t actually say what particular “nuance” politicians can use to hold back the tide without imposing extra costs. Details!)
I humbly suggest there is another explanation Clive, and it’ll knock your socks off. Perhaps the political carnage is occurring because skeptics are right? Reality bites eh? How about this: A group of self-serving shepherds and their obedient sheep thought they could change the weather, and they bullied, badgered, cajoled and insisted everyone else pay for it. Despite the campaign to make skeptics “cringeworthy”, increasingly the public saw through it, recognized the unscientific nature of this non-debate, and the sheep left the flock.
My questions for Clive, Professor of Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University: How is it ethical to use public funds to try to shut down debate with name-calling and ill-informed slurs about half the population? Don’t you feel any obligation to do some research to support your claims about the group you call “Deniers”. Is it ethical to ignore and denigrate half the population for their views, especially when you cannot point to actual evidence (data, not government authorities) that they are wrong? What happens if the temperature drops significantly?
Now, back to that “privatization”. It could help Tony Abbott balance the budget (should he become PM). That’s a billion dollars in annual costs avoided, and perhaps Fairfax will buy it to reach the audience they lost.
I can also suggest some savings in the ARC budget too…
H/t John Coochey